Janelle Monae, an R&B singer, speaks out against many cultural and gender norms and takes it as her social responsibility. In her song “Q.U.E.E.N” featuring Erykah Badu, she speaks up for people that want to be their own person without the worry of being judged.
In Janelle’s music video, she wears a black and white tuxedo, going against the gender norms of wearing dresses, or female colors. I feel by her wearing this, she can let society know that a female can be beautiful no matter what, even if society says otherwise.
“Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I wanna love who I am
Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I will love who I am”
The verse above is from her song “Q.U.E.E.N”. This verse speaks up for the feminist of the world, the LGBT community, people of color, and for all people; just to rid the cultural norms for anyone that feel they are being marginalized by what society expects of them. She is telling people that even if you make people feel uncomfortable, you should always love who you are and be who you want to be. You cannot let the culture norms that have been around for many years control how you live your life. She also states in another verse, that if people continue to live within the culture norms, no one will ever be equal.
“I asked a question like this
Are we a lost generation of our people?
Add us to equations but they’ll never make us equal.
She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel.
So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal?”
This verse is stating that our generation does not live our own, kind of saying we live are lives through a marxist approach, our human behavior is shaped by society and changes historically. That is where Janelle’s feminism comes in, that she is pushing for a movement of social and economic equality.
In one of her interviews by, Teyo, a writer from the Pulp Zine, she states, “I feel it’s my duty to speak out against any discrimination or marginalization of people who might not have the power to gain control of their rights.” I believe that she means this because she is someone who is seen and heard on media all the time. So for the people out there who want to say something, but do not have the power to get their word out to the public. Not many people are willing to write lyrics like Janelle Monae because they want to keep their reputations and continue to be broadcasted on media. Like we talked about in class, after we watched the documentary “This Film is Not Yet been Rated”, if what you are trying to broadcast goes against too many norms chances are it will not go public.